The purpose of the Black Hawk Economic Development, Inc. (BHED) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program is to promote new business start up, expansion, and/or retention projects. In fulfilling its purpose, the organization seeks to foster capital investment, as well as, job creation and retention.

Local Administration

The RLF Program is administered by the organization on a local level with the Loan Committee responsible for program supervision. As such, the Loan Committee reviews loan applications for compliance with the organization's RLF Plan and makes the decision as to the organization's participation in a project. The Loan Committee is also responsible for loan servicing issues (e.g. loan extensions, collateral subordination, etc.).

RLF Program Service Area


The RLF Program service area includes Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, and Grundy Counties, all in the State of Iowa.

Eligible Businesses

To be eligible for the RLF Program, a business must meet the generally accepted definition of a small business: for profit, independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field of operation, and meet certain employment and/or sales size standards. RLF Program projects are reviewed on a competitive basis with emphasis on those projects whose primary operation involves manufacturing, commercial services, or wholesaling of commercial goods.

General Requirements

A loan applicant must:
  • Be of good character and/or good standing
  • Demonstrate ability to operate the business successfully
  • Possess adequate capital to operate the business on a successful basis
  • Demonstrate sufficient past and/or future earnings to repay the loan
  • Provide adequate business collateral to assure loan repayment

Business Assistance Types

The RLF Program is a "gap financing" program which emphasizes maximum private sector participation in each project.

The RLF Program offers two types of business assistance:

Direct loans are usually made concurrent with a participating loan from the commercial lender. The RLF loan typically does not exceed twenty five percent (25%) of the total project cost or $50,000, whichever is less. Loans for fixed assets typically do not exceed five years while working capital loans are typically for three to five years.

Direct loan interest rates are typically at 6%-7% interest and may vary based upon the application and financial need of the applicant. The Borrower is responsible for the loan closing cost.

Loan guarantees are used to facilitate a direct loan between a small business and a commercial lender. The amount of the guaranty or guaranteed portion of the loan is based upon the merits of the application and financial need of the applicant. The Borrower is responsible for a guaranty fee of one to two percent on the guaranteed portion of the loan and associated loan cost.

Use of Funds

Eligible Use of Funds
  • Acquisition of real estate (to include land, building, etc.)
  • Building construction or improvement
  • Purchase of machinery or equipment
  • Working capital

Ineligible Use of Funds
  • If credit is otherwise available on reasonable terms and conditions
  • If the loan is to solely pay off a loan to another creditor to reduce its risk
  • A loan for agricultural or speculative purposes
  • A loan to an enterprise primarily engaged in lending or investing activities or whose principal income is derived from gambling activities
  • If the loan encourages monopoly, or is inconsistent with the accepted standards of the free competitive enterprise system
  • If the loan is used solely to relocate a business from one commuting area to another or inside or outside of a target area


RLF Program loans must be adequately collateralized to assure repayment of the loan. Personal guaranty(s) generally apply.

Collateral for a loan may consist of a security interest or lien on one or more of the following:
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Inventory
  • Machinery and Equipment
  • General Intangibles
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Fixtures on Real Estate
  • Chattel paper

Additional collateral may be required if the project assets are not sufficient in relationship to the total project cost(s).

Project Review

RLF Program applications are reviewed on a competitive basis with consideration given to the following items:
  • Type of business
  • RLF Program job leverage (loan request divided by number of jobs created/retained)
  • RLF Program financial leverage (non RLF dollars divided by RLF dollar requested)
  • Local economic impact
  • Business Plan
  • Requested loan term and conditions
  • Applicant's financials, to include credit reports, collateral and cash flow analysis
  • Applicant's participation; typically at least ten percent (10%) of the total project cost

Application Process

Develop a Business Plan, to include
  • Summary of a sound business project
  • Organizational structure/management
  • Marketing plan
  • Schedule of project cost(s)
  • Proforma financial statements (i.e. Balance Sheets, Income Statements, and Cash Flow Statements)
  • Historical financial statements, to include tax returns (3 most recent years)

Commercial Lender Review
All projects are initially reviewed by a commercial lender to determine the financial institution's participation in the project and identification of a financial gap.

Complete the Financial Assistance Application
If your business and/or project is eligible, and a financial gap is identified, contact us at:

Black Hawk Economic Development, Inc.
1001 Peoples Square
Waterloo, Iowa 50702
Phone: (319) 235-2960
Fax: (319) 235-9171
Email: bhed@bhed.org
Click Here for the RLF Loan Application.
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